Friday, July 08, 2011

Satisfying a Need

I don't know what turned me into a cupcake baking fool all of a sudden, but here I am. Every once in a while, I get an uncontrollable urge that must be satisfied. The other day, I needed some chocolate cupcakes. I also needed fresh cherries, but my allergy to fruits in the genus Prunus prevents me from eating them raw. So I chopped some up and added them to chocolate cake batter. In case that wasn't cherry enough, I added some cherry preserves to a batch of cream cheese frosting, which turned it a lovely shade of pink that went beautifully with the dark brown of the cupcakes.

About the frosting: I'm not a huge fan of the chalky flavor of confectioner's sugar, which is why I won't make the standard butter + sugar style of buttercream frosting. But frosting needs a certain amount of sugar to achieve that perfect, fluffy, pipe-able texture, even if doing so makes the result too sweet. After adding one cup of powdered sugar to a box of cream cheese and declaring it sweet enough, I decided to boost the texture by adding some of the Ultra Tex 3 that I had received in my box of samples from National Starch. It worked like a charm without affecting the flavor one bit.

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant coffee
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup pitted fresh cherries, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill muffin pans with 12 cupcake liners.

Stir together sugar, eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients, and beat with wooden spoon until incorporated. Add boiling water and beat until blended. The mixture will be very thin. Stir in cherries.

Spoon into lined muffin pans. Bake for 22-25 minutes until tops spring back when pressed lightly (a toothpick test won't be accurate because of the cherries). Remove to wire racks and cool. Frost with Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8-oz package of cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons softened butter
1 heaping tablespoon cherry preserves
2 cups powdered sugars OR 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon Ultra Tex 3

In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, and preserves. Beat in powdered sugar, or sugar and Ultra Tex. Spoon into piping bag and frost cooled cupcakes.


Posted by theminx on Minxeats.com.